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How to Develop Your Creativity: Visualization

If creativity is a tool to unlock solutions to everyday problems, our ability to imagine something is a tool belt.

 

I have a series of videos on my website that teaches one of the wonderful abilities of our mind: Self-Hypnosis.


Not everyone has an interest in self-hypnosis, however, and I get that. And I respect that. I may believe that it is a skill that has unlocked a lot of my own potential in ways that I won’t bore you with the details. But you may still be interested in brain training for other reasons.

In a few previous blog posts I touched on the idea that creative thinking unlocks solutions to some of our problems. One key component of a creative mind, is the ability to visualize. This is the ability to picture something in our mind and to actually see what it looks like. Visualization is not the only key, however. But it is very useful!


While you can certainly be creative without having great visualization skills, visualization undoubtedly helps when it comes to solving complex problems and it starts with the ability to picture people, places and things that exist. This helps to be able to use your imagination and visualize something that doesn’t exist.


If you’re writing a story, for example, or if you’re just thinking about things you’d like to do and accomplish in life, then visualization is a tool that will serve you very well.

But what if you can’t easily picture things in your mind’s eye? The answer is simple: you can train it. Because visualization is a mental skill that you can develop just like any other.


I am active in a few social media groups and the question, “How Can I Improve My Visualization Skill?”, is a frequently asked question.


 

How to Train Your Mind’s Eye


The trick with training for visualization is to start with something simple. An easy way to do this is to look at an object on your desk in front of you or at the table. Now, while keeping your eyes open, imagine what it looks like when it magically starts rising up slowly and then perhaps start turning around. As this happens, make sure to really concentrate on the details of the object. Like the way the light falls on it. Or what it looks like on the back, and how it casts shadows on the desk.


Practice this and use the ability regularly. That way, you will find that you slowly enforce the parts of your brain that you use for these kinds of tasks.


Once you’ve done this, you can start to imagine things you can’t see: maybe an orange or a banana that is not on the desk. The great thing about now creating objects from scratch is that you have to invent all of the smaller details, from the spots on the banana to its color, size and shape.


Then start getting larger and more complex. Maybe imagine a computer. Or, perhaps, try imagining yourself inside a completely different environment. You can even try experimenting with an imaginary ‘happy place’ – a place of your creation where you are safe, happy, and free.


Your 'happy place' could be a real or imagined place. Being able to mentally escape to this ‘happy place’ when you start to feel anxious, for example, is great way to instantly reduce the negative feelings in that moment. And it can be used in all sorts of situations, to deal with anger, hurt, resentment, frustration, and the list goes on and on.

Visual Memory


While creating objects and manipulating them in your imagination can be tricky at first, something you may find easier is to visualize things that you remember and to visualize them accurately.


One way to practice this is to think of an environment you used to spend time in or that you have visited lately: perhaps a friend’s bedroom. Now, try and picture as many details of that room as you can. Think about where the door is in relation to the room, where the light comes in, where the CD player is, etc.

Not only does this help you train your visualization skills, it’s also a very interesting exercise that can reveal just how little you pay attention! Because observation skills is another set of skills that can be developed over time, that can be quite handy for many different reasons.


 

What else can you try?


I selected two videos and an audio file from my self-hypnosis series that I believe explain all of this just a little differently and in more detail. Again, visualization is a skill that is important for self-hypnosis but even if you don’t have an interest in self-hypnosis, that’s ok.


Unfortunately, the platform that I use to publish my blog does not currently allow me to insert the videos and the audio file directly here. Instead, I provide links to the pages where you can access these free resources. I apologize for the inconvenience of having to click and go through the motions to access it! (I registered a complaint with my service provider but for the time being, that's the work-around.)


In the first video, I take you through a guided visualization exercise. I suggest you watch it twice. The first time, just listen. The second time, try to close your eyes and follow along. You can find it below.


In the second video, I briefly talk about the fact that visualization is not the only skill for a creative mind. Because some people imagine things easier if they focus on smells by using olfactory sensations. Or sounds, which is the ability to imagine things more clearly that are auditory in nature. Or feelings – kinesthetic sensations.


We all have the ability to imagine any of these sensations in different levels of intensity or clarity. We developed a preference that makes us unique in some way.

If you want to find out which of these abilities are the strongest for you personally, I finish off with an exercise that you can do to figure this out for yourself.


 

The videos and audio guided exercises


Expand the list below. Click on an image in the list. Register a free account if necessary and then come back to this list if you are not redirected there automatically.


Feel free to watch the videos in the sequence that I suggest:



The audio exercise to figure out your preference for visualization as compared to imagined sounds, smells, tastes and feelings, can be found here:


 

Let me know in the comments how this went. Or send me an email at pierre@woodbridgehypnosis.com.


Have fun!


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